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Igbo group rejects 2019 poll, calls for provisional government

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James Faleke

Unless issues surrounding restructuring of the country, particularly the return of the 1963 Republican Constitution that devolved power to the regions is amicably resolved, the 2019 poll should be shelved, while a non-partisan civilian provisional government of national redemption set up.

That was the position adopted by the Take Back Nigeria Association (TBNA), comprising youths and elders of the entire Igbo nation with representatives from the ancestral communities in Abia, Anambra, Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Kogi and Rivers states, after their town hall meeting in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria.

In a five point communiqué signed by the Director General, Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Okonkwo, Prof. Obasi Igwe, Evangelist Joseph Agbo, Mazi Boni Amalu and Ngozi Chukwudi, TBNA said it joins several other nationalities to affirm that “the basic problem in Nigeria today is the ‘national question’.”

The group said its position is borne out of certainty that: “Buhari cannot correctly restructure Nigeria or return it to true federalism, except as a miracle,” noting that “the Federal Government he heads is variously being suspected of pursuing a fundamentalist sectional agenda.”

While stressing that President Buhari “neither possess the legitimacy or honest patriotic perception, nor intellectual capacity to undertake a just restructuring of Nigeria or her return to true federalism,” TBNA remarked that: “those pleading to him to do so, are inadvertently giving him a carte blanche to further mess up everything, and drag the country from today’s frying pan to fire.”

The Igbo group added: “As part of peaceful transitional measures, another ‘act of necessity can be invoked by parliament, so that he and other officials can serve out their remaining term, without impeding, but actually logistically facilitating the work of a Sovereign National Conference and its provisional government.”

The group contended that the problem “can only be peacefully and justly resolved in terms of nationalities, that is, people with a common language, and more or less common history, traditions and outlook.”

While noting that it was based on that understanding that various nationalities in the country have been uniting their people into coherent blocs, articulating collective interests and seeking a common voice on issues, TBNA denounced Igbo groups and leaders who persevere to disunite the Igbo.

TBNA regretted that one of the pernicious ways some Igbo groups and leaders divide the people is through the false notion that Igbo only refer to people in the artificial Southeast, particularly that sections of Igbo hate each other and cannot unite.

The group maintained that Igbo group and individuals that promote such divisive notions do that “as proof of their Nigerian patriotism and guarantee for their ill-gotten wealth and positions.”

“We, therefore, roundly condemn the mischievous fractional ‘‘Igbo Southeast’’ region and call on all Igbo and join others in seeking solutions based on the national question. At all times, unity with your kith and kin is strength (Igwebuike).

Consequently, the TBNA resolved as follows: “Proceeding from our earnest desire to achieve a credible solution to the raging crisis, we make the following proposals, which we believe will go a long way in ensuring justice and facilitating lasting peace in Nigeria.

“Call for a non-partisan civilian provisional government of national redemption under a sovereign national conference to oversee a return to true federalism, based on the four pre-existing regions (1963) or ethnic nationalities, with viable mergers of smaller ones.

“Or, a rational combination of the two; in which case, the regions should either be practically or nationally restored, to afford whole or parts of any ethnic nationalities to either remain, or leave for any other region.”

TBNA explained that: “effectively embodied in the above proposals, would be the four cardinal elements of the demands for restructuring of the policy or return to true federalism.”

The group called for the reorganisation of the constituent units of political administration in the country with a view to elative self-determination and competitive mutual emulation, as well as, “just and equitable reform of the military-security services, of which ‘State police’ is only one component.”

TBNA noted that a crucial aspect of restructuring revolves around resource ownership and control by units of what are within their territories, both onshore and offshore.

The group stated that restructuring should also establish ideological clarity, particularly “unequivocal secularity, democratic political order, free enterprise economic system and fundamental human rights.”

“All the forgoing would find expression in the constitution of the units and the whole,” TBNA said.


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